International Women’s Day on March 8 is a day to celebrate women and their achievements. It’s also a day to take stock of how women’s rights, especially the right to health, are fulfilled in the world. The idea for an International Women’s Day arose around the turn of the 20th century a long-standing movement for women to participate equally in society.
Over time, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition, and the theme was expanded by the United Nations in 1975 with the International Women’s Year. By 1977, the United Nations had adopted a resolution designating March 8 as International Women’s Day.
Women in Myanmar still face many health problems and we must commit to addressing them.It has a high maternal mortality rate with 240 deaths per 100,000 live births. Postpartum hemorrhage, eclampsia and complications from unsafe abortions are the leading causes of maternal deaths, according to the government’s 2006-2011 National Health Plan.
Next to Thailand, HIV/AIDS prevalence is highest in Myanmar. Nearly 3 percent of new HIV infections may be attributed to mother-to-child transmission. Factors which may limit women’s access to HIV services are related to their lower status in the household, lower literacy rate, less access to health information, and exclusion from decision-making in household health action and expenditure, as well as stigma.
Particularly, low-income women workers have low awareness of their health needs, while myths and misconceptions, especially stigmas around reproductive health, lead to unhealthy or dangerous behavior. Women workers in factories are at a high level of risk for general and reproductive health problems, and have limited access to health products and services.
In order to improve the socio-economic status of women factory workers in Myanmar, KT Care has been implementing BSR’s HERproject, which aims to increase the health awareness of over 1260 women factory workers in Yangon. KT Care is the only organization in Myanmar that was selected to implement in this innovative program.
The project aims not only to improve women’s health awareness and behavior but also to use these plans to enhance the overall effectiveness of the business. This is accomplished by working with those in management positions within the company to help them understand the goals, methods, and benefits of HERproject.
For more detailed information on the project, please contact to Thet Ko Ko – Communications Manager, KT Care Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or +951 527522 and +951 527516.
- BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.
- HERproject is a BSR initiative that catalyzes partnerships among international brand-name companies, suppliers, and NGOs to implement women’s empowerment programs in factories around the world through two programs, HERhealth (created in 2007) and HERfinance (launched in 2012).